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Update: Child Struck by Car at Willow and Sauerkraut Lanes

Fire Chief says the boy was conscious when he arrived at the scene.

UPDATE: The boy was in the road when he was hit and he was conscious when the Lower Macungie Fire Chief arrived on the scene. The accident happened at 5:55 p.m. Friday

Original report:

According to police reports, a 6-year-old child has been struck by a car at the intersection of Willow and Sauerkraut lanes in Lower Macungie Township in the vicinity of

 

Bicycle Pete June 04, 2011 at 11:15 AM
I travel through this intersection going and coming daily on my bicycle. I ride about 30 miles a day, and I can tell you by far this is the worst intersection I go through. Cars treat cyclists like objects. I was harassed and pinned to the curb by a Lower Macungie Township vehicle. I reported the individual, and to his credit the Township Manager called and said he had taken care of the matter. To date, no repeats from Township vehicles. The new elementary school doesn't have a school zone, so when school lets out, the traffic on Sauerkraut gets even worse. I witnessed a guy go through the stop sign while traveling west on Willow at 40 MPH. Didn't even slow down. This intersection definitely needs a light, and Sauerkraut needs a bike lane in either direction. It's wide enough. On many parts of it, the speed limit is 35, but on a good portion it is only 25. Yet I rarely see police covering this SUPER DANGEROUS road. Sadly, this poor kid getting hit was only a matter of time. What will it take, a fatality? Wake up Lower Macungie and fix this before someone gets killed.
Scott Alderfer June 04, 2011 at 12:01 PM
I pray this kid recovers with no lasting effects. It's tragic that he had to become a statistic for what those of us who live in that area already know. This intersection is at the new Willow Lane Elementary School. At the time this accident happened yesterday there was a school fair happening, so there was even more traffic (both vehicular and pedestrian) than usual. The school is brand new - just opened in September of 2010. The speed limits here are still 35 mph, but there are no School Zone signs along Sauerkraut or Willow. For whatever reason, the school district did not have a plan in place this year for crossing guards, so all kids - even from one block away - are being bussed. But starting in September 2011, kids within a whatever mile radius must walk (or have their parents drop them off which will increase congestion exponentially). Currently, a LOT of people making right turns at that 4-way stop DO NOT stop before turning, and the same failure to stop for the 4-way stop routinely happens at Sauerkraut & Mill Creek just a block away. I hope there will be flashing school zone signs and crossing guards in place by September. There is normally a very significant rush hour volume at Willow and Sauerkraut between 5:00 and 6:30 pm, so a traffic light would be a good idea for weekdays (maybe set it flashing on weekends when the volumes are not as great).
LoMac Res June 04, 2011 at 12:42 PM
Scott - All very good points. My family lives in the area and we were shocked that the governments involved and school powers-that-be did not install a light at the Willow/Sauerkraut intersection and have a good safe-crossing plan in place with the opening of the large new elementary school. At this busy four-way, even conscientious drivers are challenged to keep track of what other cars are doing, and they can lose track of pedestrians. There is also a tendency by drivers to be aggressive at the intersection even when pedestrians are trying to cross, so they (drivers) don't lose their "turn" in the four-way cycle. I have spoken with adults (runners, walkers etc.) who are afraid to cross that intersection at busy times of the day, and have heard stories of people "almost" getting hit. Speaking of pedestrians, there are many at this intersection. Four bike/walking paths converge at the intersection. There are also many cyclists passing through this intersection. That's great, but the combination of the school and heavy pedestrian use means a four-way is unacceptable and dangerous.
Lisa Parry June 04, 2011 at 03:12 PM
Wow Jayden!!!! Did you really have to make the comment " We are sick of your little brats already?" I hope this is not directed to the parents or this little child. I really hope he is well.....
T WELL GEOS June 04, 2011 at 08:25 PM
YES Jayden! I have to agree with you, parents are not able to control their kids, especially what comes out of their mouths... SO WHEN YOU SEE YOUR PARENTS NEXT, PLEASE, DO ADVISE THEM OF YOUR STATEMENTS SO THEY CAN TEACH YOU...I'd love to hear that conversation! And unless you hit the child, you do not know the circumstances. Best wishes to the family, and hopefully they'll take care of that intersection..maybe a police car's presence could slow people down there...
Lower Mac Resident June 05, 2011 at 10:41 AM
This little boy getting hit was a horrible thing and I am keeping him and his family in my thoughts. That being said, an accident such as this was bound to happen, and will sadly be the first of many, unless the township puts in a traffic light at that intersection. Also, a light is needed at the intersection of Mill Creek and Sauerkraut - that one is just as dangerous. I have 3 kids attending Willow Lane next year, and the thought of them walking to school is absurd. We are on the opposite side of Sauerkraut, and on the rare occasion that we have walked to school, getting across Sauerkraut is virtually impossible - and that is WITH buses! Add to that the huge increase of cars driving their kids to school next year and the situation turns deadly. I would love to know why there is no school zone around Willow Lane? Anyone know?
Sheriffchris June 05, 2011 at 05:29 PM
Cyclists are the pitts, they ride in packs sometime four or six abreast, they do not stay to the right, they force cars into oncoming trafiic in order to pass. They never signal or obey road monitors (lines). These people are indeed an endangerment to our community...all they have to do is follow the rules of the road...but they do not !!!
Sheriffchris June 05, 2011 at 05:29 PM
Cyclists are the pitts, they ride in packs sometime four or six abreast, they do not stay to the right, they force cars into oncoming trafiic in order to pass. They never signal or obey road monitors (lines). These people are indeed an endangerment to our community...all they have to do is follow the rules of the road...but they do not !!!
LM Resident June 05, 2011 at 07:17 PM
In other communities that have to walk they use "virtual bus techniques". They start at the furthest end of the development. The first family starts and stops at the next house. Picks up the next house/bus top like you car pool. Now you have 4 kids on the virtual bus. You walk to the next stop and pick up the next four kids. You walk to the next stop. You WALK to the next stop and pick up the next eight kids, etc., etc., etc. By the time you approach the bad intersection which you WILL have a crossing guard NEXT SCHOOL YEAR you will have a BUS LOAD of walkers crossing the street. 40 kids WALKING across at the same time equals ALL cars stopping and a SAFE trip to school and YES there should be a school zone at Willow Lane Elementary. It would be safer to have a light there with cross walks, but reality is that the township doesn't want to spend the money, this would be you next best safest option.....the wonderful superintendent isn't going to cave in with the bussing, so you have to come up with the best, safest way of keeping your kids safe.
Lower Mac Resident June 06, 2011 at 10:40 AM
In theory... great idea. In reality, the neighbors don't even car pool to the BUS STOP, there is no way they are getting together to run a virtual bus. No parent(s) want to be responsible for other kids (just the fact of the matter). Most parents will be driving - they have babies and younger siblings to deal with, places they need to be immediately following drop off, and since they all drive to the BUS STOP now, I can promise you they will all be driving to the school - the traffic will be insane. No school is designed to handle 400 minivans twice a day (and that is rounding low, considering there are over 700 kids in the school!). Yes, on a pristine day in May or October, you may get the minivan count down to 300, but those days are few and far between.
mom June 06, 2011 at 01:09 PM
The elementary schools in Emmaus already walk to school. I don't think the superintendent is going to give in. He's not a nice man. Willow Lane's parking lot isn't designed to handle very many cars let along 400. I don't think the Willow Lane families are going to win this fight. Communities need to stick together and do what is in the best interest of the children. I understand that there are younger siblings involved, that's what strollers and snow suits are for. You have to do what you have to do. I have 4 children at a bus stop on what is considered a dangerous road at a dangerous intersection. I don't live in a development. I can't just send my kids to the bus stop. My baby has to be at the bus stop in the rain and in the snow. I don't have a reliable car to drive there. It's not convenient, not fun, you have to suck it up and do what you have to do. I don't even have a neighbor to rely on. Look out for each other and if it means that parents who their youngest is in school walk the oldest child of the next door neighbor so the baby next door isn't out when it's freezing...then be a good neighbor and do that....what is the big deal??? What ever happened to neighbors sticking together??? Be thankful that you live in a community where you have that luxury. Stop being so self-centered and start caring for other people. One day you may NEED that person next door.YOUR WRONG,AS A PTO CHAIR PERSON I CARE ABOUT THE KIDS AT MY KIDS SCHOOL!!!
Joe Barnes June 07, 2011 at 12:41 PM
The child and parent were crossing the street in the crosswalk. Isn't the law for motorists to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk? The motorist sped thru the crosswalk trying to beat the people crossing and struck the child! The Lower Macungie Fire Police should have been there that day directing traffic! The School District should have demanded that this be done since they notified all the parents the day before to not drive to the event and walk to the School!!!!!
Jayden June 07, 2011 at 12:49 PM
First of all, the Lower Macungie Fire Police are all VOLUNTEERS. How are you going to FORCE a volunteer to be there to direct traffic??????? If the school wants to have functions, let them PAY for someone to direct traffic. They can not "DEMAND" anything. Would you rather have a paid fire department and see your taxes go through the roof? Most people can't afford what they are paying now..
Witness June 07, 2011 at 05:34 PM
Joe, You are exactly right. I was there and saw the whole thing happen. The motorist was clearly in a hurry. There were four people in the cross walk when he decided to gun it and try to beat them. God forbid if he had to wait 30 more seconds to be on his way. I hope the State Police enforce the crosswalk law in this case and make an example.
Melissa Moyer-Schneck June 07, 2011 at 06:01 PM
My children attend East Penn schools as well, but are not allowed to walk to school based on where their school is located, this is fine with us, they take the bus and the bus stop is in a quiet neighborhood with not much traffic. The insane part of my comment is when the children at our bus stop yelled to a vehicle driving past the stop to slow down.....she turned around in her car to drive back by the bus stop and yell profanities at the children....I personally think the township needs more "mature" adults driving cars.....
Melissa Moyer-Schneck June 07, 2011 at 06:03 PM
Being that this accident was viewed by this many people, I certainly hope the police were able to get the drivers information and he is fined properly for this, nothing to that extent was mentioned in the article. I agree with Jayden, the fire department is all volunteer and you cannot tell a volunteer what he has to do, he is a volunteer...we need more of them, so if your so concerned about this sign up as a volunteer!
Ann June 10, 2011 at 01:10 AM
prayers for the child and hopes that there are no such repeat incidents. Please be aware, with the intended development planned by LMT and Jaindl, there are bound to be "lost" tractor trailers going through this neighborhood when Sauerkraut Lane is extended to the trucking warehouse of Spring Creek Rd. The township and Aburtis Burough do not seem interested in talking with PennDoT to make sure that there are absolute designated truck roads and others that are absolutely "NO Trucks, except local delivery". Apparently, this is not such a hard task, but it does not seem that either local government is making an effort to protect the residential and rural roads. If you are interested in this problem, please go to your local government meetings and speak up and ask for appropriate protection and action so that children are not placed in harms way.

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